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How has Computer Science changed the way you think?

December 04, 2014

2014 #include Fellow Avanika Narayan Speaks about Expanding Her Initiative

November 13, 2014

I was one of the fortunate people to attend the 2014 she++ #include Summit. Since then I have further worked and expanded on my #include initiative. My initiative was to spread computer science instruction amongst underprivileged kids. I noticed that there was a big gap in opportunities between myself and kids from East Palo Alto who did not have exposure to computer science. To bridge this gap I introduced Tynker, a software that introduces, teaches and enhances interest in programming to an after school program for children in East Palo Alto. My experiences of bringing computer science instruction to the children from East Palo Alto inspired me to do more.

I was amazed at how interested and eager the kids were to learn and work with Tynker. Some kids were so excited that they asked us if they could do it at home too. Every day that I worked with the kids I felt happy and deeply satisfied that I was able to give them an opportunity to learn something new. My experiences drove me to want to impact more lives. I created Everyone Deserves A Byte, a social entrepreneurial venture that aims to bridge the gap of access to computer science knowledge between the privileged and the underprivileged. Everyone Deserves A Byte aims to do one thing: provide computer science instruction to underprivileged kids. Our job is to contact as many programs and schools which serve underprivileged kids and provide them with a tool that they can use to teach and interest their students with computer science. Tynker is the tool that will give them this beginning. For those that cannot afford Tynker, we will work to find them sponsors who will fund them. Everyone Deserves A Byte not only focuses on children in the U.S., but also children who are technologically deficient all around the world. Currently we are working with a school in rural India which would like to purchase Tynker to teach its students computer programming. Every student should have access to computer science education – visit everyonedeservesabyte.org to learn more!

Avanika Narayan is from Palo Alto, California and is a sophomore at Palo Alto High School. She was a 2014 she++ #include Fellow. Avanika is passionate about computer science and tennis. Her first exposure to computer science was in a computer creations class in middle school. She had a great teacher who encouraged her to follow her passion in computer science and helped her develop her interest. Outside of school, Avanika’s greatest passion is tennis. She is a competitive junior tennis player and has been competing since she was 10. She loves traveling for tennis tournaments and meeting new friends. Avanika is an avid reader, and also enjoys skiing and surfing.



a jill of all trades: Dona Sarkar on Mentorship, Coding, Fashion, and Writing

November 12, 2014

Read on Medium
By Madelyne Xiao
“Author, fashion designer, computer programmer!” proclaims Dona Sarkar’s personal website. They’re hardly mutually exclusive. In fact, Sarkar can lay claim to all three. By day, she’s an engineering manager at Microsoft. Otherwise, she’s the founder and designer of her own fashion label, Prima Dona Couture, and the author of three books (with another, You Had Me at Hello World, in the works).

On October 29th, she++ hosted Sarkar in Stanford University’s Old Union Complex for “Dona Sarkar on Mentorship, Coding, Fashion, and Writing.” The talk was centered on the importance of mentorship in computer science and the applications of engineering know-how to other areas of study.

Read on Medium